Honorary Life Member

Honorary Life Member

Honorary Life Member is the highest accolade that Water New Zealand can bestow on a member. The member enjoys the same rights and privileges as individual members, but they pay no annual subscription.

At its 2011 Annual General Meeting the members of Water New Zealand endorsed a motion by the Board to replace the separate Life and Honorary categories of membership with one category of Honorary Life Member.

Item 4(f) of the constitution reads:

An Honorary Life Member shall be a person who has been an Individual Member or the representative of a Corporate Member, and who has made a sustained and significant contribution to the Association. Honorary Life Members shall be nominated by the Board and shall be elected by a majority vote at a General Meeting.

Honorary Life Member - Awarded in 2021

Dukessa Blackburn-Huettner

Dukessa has been very active on the Water New Zealand scene.  She was on the Water New Zealand Board for six years and was President for the last two years. Prior to that, she served on Water New Zealand’s Technical Committee for eight years and was its Chair for three years.  Dukessa was one of the Board members instrumental in setting up Water New Zealand’s Rising Tide group which she represented on the Board.  Her motivation in this role was to encourage young people to join our industry and to make it more attractive to them and to expand and grow the group into other main centres.  She is also on the NAMS committee and a past Judge of the Water New Zealand Young Water Professional (CH2M Beca Prize).  Dukessa was promoted to Fellow of Engineering NZ in 2019 in recognition of her contribution to NZ’s three waters sector, and she is a member of the NZ Gold Shovel Chapter.

Stormwater management is Dukessa’s key area of professional activity.  She is passionate about raising the profile of the issues surrounding stormwater management and the emerging challenges around stormwater.  Dukessa leads the Lifecycle Management group for Auckland Council's Healthy Waters bringing a unique mixture of management and technical expertise, across consulting and local government.  This experience, coupled with a passion to succeed, results in her making a significant contribution to the NZ Stormwater sector and Water NZ and its members, and a worthy recipient of Honorary Life Membership in Water NZ.

Craig Freeman

Craig Freeman is nominated for honorary life membership in recognition of his commitment to the water industry and contributions to the activities of Water New Zealand. Craig has been part of Filtec for many years, as a founding shareholder in the company and Sales Manager for the Wellington Branch. Craig’s persona – open, honest and committed to the people he works with - has had obvious benefits to the on going growth and success of his company. Filtec, of course is well known for its support of Water New Zealand and providing input into its technical work programme. However, the people that he works with recognize him for being far more than a great representative of his company. He has committed to the activities of the small water systems group within Water New Zealand and has championed the advancement of the knowledge and capability of the operational sector.

He has given trusted advice to the Ministry of Health and to Taumata Arowai, being a member of the MoH NZDWS 2008 Expert Committee, and a member of the DWSNZ 2018 committee. He worked with Water New Zealand as a reviewer of its submission on the 2020/21 Water Services Bill. His network across the industry allows him to openly share issues and connect people. He is trusted and respected, and his long and valuable contributions to the NZ Water industry was recognized by induction to the NZ Gold Shovel Chapter.

Ian Garside

Ian is nominated for honorary life membership for his contributions and commitment over many years to the Water New Zealand Technical committee and to the Modelling Special Interest Group (SIG). He has been Chair of the Technical Committee since 2012 and a member since 2007. The Water New Zealand Conference has steadily increased in the quality and range of papers presented over that time, and much of the credit goes to Ian for the way in which he has led the Committee, and continually refreshed its membership. His role of Chair is a high-pressure one as, during annual conference, Ian with the support of his Committee members must attend the presentations and mark papers, all in time for the Awards at the Conference Dinner – no small feat year after year!  

Ian was a founding member of the Modelling SIG in 1999, served on its Committee from 2002-08 and was its Chair from 2003-4. Aside from these two important Committees, he was also a member of the Rainfall Runoff Steering Group, and is a member of the NZ Gold Shovel Chapter.

Kelvin Hill

Kelvin has been contributing to the New Zealand Water Sector for more than 20 years and has been an active member of Water New Zealand across that time.  He joined the Board in 2013 as an elected member from the Western Bay of Plenty District Council providing much needed representation from the local government sector. Kelvin used his working knowledge from his contracting and local government experiences to foster an understanding of the pressures local government faces with the delivery of effective and efficient water services within tight budgetary constraints. 

Kelvin was elected as President in 2018 and presided over the change in CEO and sought to foster healthy debate and work alongside the Department of Internal affairs around the water sector reforms. This has helped to position Water New Zealand as the go to agency for technical knowledge across the water sector.  He was inducted into the NZ Gold Shovel Chapter at the end of his Presidential term in 2020.

Kelvin has a passion for sharing knowledge across the breadth of our industry and this has been demonstrated by long and effective stints in committee positions on the WSMG and conference technical committee. Kelvin, in his almost ten year contribution to the conference technical committee, and as a sitting Board Member, played a pivotal role in ensuring that there was a strong linkage between the direction of the Board and the content of the conference programme.  Above all, is Kelvin’s ongoing passion for involving, mentoring and otherwise encouraging our young professionals.

Marion Savill

Marion is a highly competent environmental science specialist, working on microbiological contamination of environmental water and associated public health risk. She was the Environmental Microbiology Water Business Leader at ESR, where she worked for more than 20 years having previously worked at its predecessor the Department of Scientific Industrial Research.

She is the author and co-author of a number of international and local articles. Throughout her career, Marion has maintained involvement in Water New Zealand’s activities and interests, attending many annual conferences and chairing the conference’s science stream, providing strong links to IWA. She is President of the New Zealand chapter of the IWA’s Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM) group. In that role she gained the hosting of the IWA HRWM Symposium (Rotorua 2011).

Following the widespread outbreak of gastroenteritis in Havelock North in August 2016 Marion provided support to Water New Zealand, moderating the 2017 Drinking Water Workshop. She has continued to work with Water New Zealand and in late 2019 succeeded in winning the hosting of the 2023 IWA (ASPIRE) conference for the Pacific and South-East Asian regions in Auckland. This has now been rescheduled to 2025 because of the global Covid-19 pandemic. In recognition of her longstanding support of Water New Zealand and representation of IWA within NZ, Marion became a member of the NZ Gold Shovel Chapter in 2020.

Honorary Life Members:



2021Dukessa Blackburn-Huettner
2021Craig Freeman
2021Ian Garside
2021Kelvin Hill
2021Marion Savill
2017 Graeme Mills
2015 Robert Blakemore
2015 Bruce Porteous
2015 Raveen Jaduram
2014 Jan Gregor
2014 Cliff Tipler
2012 Margaret Devlin
2010 Garry Macdonald
2009 Anthony Wilson
2007 David Kettell
2007 Boyd Miller
2000 Jim Bradley
2000 Graeme Thacker
2000 Bert Gray
2000 Arthur Haughey
1999 David Cooper
1999 Graham McBride
1998 Howard Smith
1997 Jeff Booth
1996 Joe Gielen
1995 Michael Taylor
1995 Ian Gunn
1994 Denis Ferrier
1994 Mike Petricevich
1994 David Best
1993 John Fitzmaurice
1993 Graeme Leggat
1990 Don Cameron
1990 Brian Carlisle
1990 Richard Earle
1989 Iain MacBean
1989 David Ogilvie
1987 Bob Canham
1987 Keith Davis
1987 Len Spackman
1987 Charles Collom
1987 Colin Denmead
1987 Harry Cotton
1987 Frank Lowe
1986 Jack Knight
1985 Malcolm Edge
1983 Arch Campbell
1982 John Rowntree
1973 Jack Ralston
1963 Ron Hicks